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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffTyler Date: Oct 13, 2003 12:20pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Recording gear

There are many schools of thoughts on the topic. With responses ranging from cheap to freakishly and stupidly expensive.

In my opinion, all you'll ever need (As well as what i've been recording with for a year and a half):

AT831 mics:
http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/category.cgi?category=120&item=SP-CMC-2&type=store

Batt box with bass rolloff:
http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/category.cgi?category=310&item=SP-SPSB-1&type=store

and a refurbished Sharp Minidisk recorder (I use a Sharp MD-MT15) off ebay. These babies only run $40-60 on ebay and that is all you'll ever need.

If you want true true "Lossless" get a DAT deck, because Mini Disk uses ATRAC compression. It is tiny, but there. I have heard side by side comparisons of the same source but with a DAT deck and a MD deck. The difference is very minimal, and only highly attuned ears can tell the difference.

For me, the notion of dropping several hundred dollars ($300-600) for a DAT deck just wasn't an option. THe mini Disk was perfect because it was small in size and easy to use.

So go for it! Regardless what you use, just be stoked to be there. Enjoy the show first, worry about the recording second. Just be happy you are there at all, and hopefully your recording goes good.

Practice, learn to use your equipment in the dark or with your eyes closed. Mistakes happen, and you will get better. Put those mics in a beanie or a hat to go 'stealth' or splurge for a stand if you are hitting up 'taping OK' bands.

I got into this for the same reasons you are: I hit up local shows several times a week and there is no way anyone else in the audience of 10 is recording, so i figured i should do it myself. After the show, say Hi to the artist and ask for an e-mail address or mailing address so you can send them the recording you made. Most artists are super floored that you even came, let alone invested effort in recording their set. And don't forget to tell them about the archive so you can get them up here and spread those local tunes to everyone in the world.

Hope this helps. If you want more taping suggestions, or details, drop me a line.

Tyler
thuff@ucsd.edu

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffbleblanc Date: Oct 13, 2003 12:47pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Recording gear

If you want true true "Lossless" get a DAT deck, because Mini Disk uses ATRAC compression. It is tiny, but there. I have heard side by side comparisons of the same source but with a DAT deck and a MD deck. The difference is very minimal, and only highly attuned ears can tell the difference.

The difference in sound is indeed minimal and usually not noticeable, but the biggest problem with MD decks for a recording medium is the 74 or 80 minute limit on discs - if the band you are recording plays a great second set over an hour and a half (or if there isn't a setbreak at all) you *will* lose some music unless you're really good at swapping discs between songs. DAT will run up to 180 minutes straight without swapping tapes.

However, those aren't the only choices when it comes to recorders. The Nomad Jukebox 3 might prove to be a happy medium - it's $300 brand new and will get you hours of uninterrupted recording time - plus it doesn't use ATRAC compression.

If you ask me, the place you spend the money is the mics. Good mics make all the difference in the world.

-Brad

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Poster: Sinjin Date: Oct 14, 2003 1:23am
Forum: etree Subject: Nomad Jukebox 3

I just looked at the Nomad Jukebox 3 on the web and saw a bunch of MP3 references...I thought that was bad form...can it also record in "not" mp3 mode so that there is no loss?

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffbleblanc Date: Oct 14, 2003 2:18am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Nomad Jukebox 3

Yes. It can record 44.1khz (CDR sample rate) or 48khz .wav files. (48 being better than CD quality)

Here's a sample: http://www.archive.org/audio/etree-details-db.php?id=6163

The KM140's are *really* nice mics. :)

-Brad

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Poster: TwirlyJet Date: Sep 7, 2004 9:15am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Nomad Jukebox 3

Hi, are you still here? I have some questions about the jukebox 3

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffalienbobz Date: Oct 14, 2003 2:27am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Nomad Jukebox 3

Just to let you know, you can get a refurbished Jukebox 3 for 180 dollars on ebay. Make sure that you do get the Jukebox 3, and none of the other Creative recorders. This is the only one with an optical in line.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffTyler Date: Oct 14, 2003 2:15am
Forum: etree Subject: NJ3 and DAT's

A friend of mine once wrote up this little break down. he is a DAT taper and knows a lot more about it then I:

(This section was copied from a post a bay area taper put up on www.benharper.net in may)

if you are interested in quality first and price second your options break down in the following order

this is for "stealth" type small/portable gear...computer based and stand type gear is a whole different breakdown

1. Sony PCM-M1 DAT (pro model-no SCMS) -- ~$725
2. Sony D100 DAT (same as PCM-M1 without SCMS override) -- ~$725
3. Sony D8/D7 DAT (older generation "consumer" DAT recorders) -- ~$650
4. Sharp "High End" MD recorders (MD-MT770/MD-MT877/etc) -- starts near $225
----better designed for recording than the sony's; support MDLP mode
5. Sony "High End" MD recorders -- starts near $225?
----some support "on the fly changing of recording levels (an essential feature)
6. Sharp "Low End" MD recorders (MD-MT15/MD-MT90/etc) -- low $100 or less
----no support for MDLP mode, support for on the fly levels -- solid, affordable
7. Sony "Low End" MD recorders (most) -- low $100 or less
----no support for MDLP, no support for "on the fly" levels
8. Creative Nomad recorders..these can record in raw wav format, but they are a pain in the a$$ to use and are REAL flakey for recording...avoid
----

I don't understand it fully, but with DAT's, there are a few ways to get the tunes into your computer. One is to actually buy a DAT drive that you put your DAT's into in your computer, and transfer them in that way. Another is to get a 7 pin cable that allows you to connect to your optical soundcard optically. I again don't know much about it since I don't record with DAT, but from what I have heard, they have stopped making these cords and are getting harder and harder to find, mostly on e-bay for large $.

----

My opinion, since you have the money for a DAT is to not go for a dat and go for the Nomad Jukebox 3. $300 brand new, and also get the lithium 'long-life' battery. I am not sure if it is packaged with it, but i think it is only purchased separate and is about $80. It is steep but it is really needed. Without it your recording time on a fully charge will only be maybe an hour or maybe 2/2.5 if you're pushing it. that can be cutting it close for a long show. The lithium battery on full charge i have heard to get 10 hours of recording time. perfect for festivals and the like.

The other great thing about the NJ3 is yes, you can record it .mp3, and yes, you should avoid that in the live music world, since it is a lossy format. BUT you can also record directly to the unit in uncompressed .wav format. This is the option you will want to use. Plus, the newwest jukebox (the one you want to get) has a large storage area (20 GB? i think?) so you will be able to record many shows without fearing it to be 'full'.

Transfers are simple, fast, and USB based. The recording is already in a file form, so just USB connect it, transfer the files and you're done. With DAT and MD recordings, you have to open soundforge, or another audio recording program and 'record' while you play the recording into your computer at 1X. Takes some time.

I do know some people who have been DAT tapers and moved to the Nomad and have never looked back. Not one problem, not one complaint, they love it! but i do know some poeple that have not liked it. I higly suggest it for ease of use, size (about the size of a portable CD player), and just overall good times with it. If you want to go for a DAT deck, hopefully others with more experience can help you with that area, but if you want to hear some good NJ3 recordings, look around in the april/may and onward 2003 Jason Mraz shows. Shows by Jon K were mostly done on his NJ3 (check source info on details pages) and you can sample what it sounds like.

As far as mics go, I still say the audio technica 831 mics are the highest quality for the smalest price. $119 is so much cheaper then Shoeps or any other $2000 pair of mics, and the quality is so great with the AT831's. It is the only pair i have, and I have made some near soundboard qualiyt recordings with them. One recording is being used for a commercial release by the artist.

The point is, start with the at831 mics and focus on your skills, your position in the show, technique. Expensive mics in the hands of a newbie can still produce shit. If you get better and want to upgrade, mics are where to put the money. The deck is still just a deck. My opinion is to get the Nomad.

Happy Taping! It is a fun world. :)

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Poster: kwaved Date: Oct 14, 2003 4:20am
Forum: etree Subject: common ground

The point is, start with the at831 mics and focus on your skills, your position in the show, technique. Expensive mics in the hands of a newbie can still produce shit. If you get better and want to upgrade, mics are where to put the money. The deck is still just a deck. My opinion is to get the Nomad.

The NJ3 is an excellent starter solution, as for mics well I personally would stay away from the AT series I do agree that you can always upgrade your equipment, no need to spend $5K to start if you aren't sure that taping is for you. There is a very distinct subculture of taping, etc that isn't for everybody {LOL}

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Poster: TwirlyJet Date: Sep 7, 2004 9:16am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: jukebox 3

Hi are you still around? I have some recording questions.

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Poster: datgeek Date: Oct 14, 2003 11:53am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Mic/Pre/Deck

just a couple of notes...
JB3 + Extra Internal Battery >> works just fine and cheaper than a used DAT deck...

the Octava 012 mics can be found at several "mass music retailers" for about 100$ each or less, much better than the AT models

Pre-amp
Edirol UA-5 with the Oade digital Mod
<<400$

with this setup
A:) you already have an optical output that the JB3 Needs as well as 24bit > computer if you want to go that route in the futur

B:) you can easily upgrade the mics later when you want to

C:) you can have the accual Pre-amp part of the UA-5 upgraded from oade as well..

D:) if needed this unit "can" be stealthed (I dont stealth anything but it was mentioned)

E:) with the JB3 instead of a DAT there is NO transfer problems because the file is already in a WAV format..

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Poster: Sinjin Date: Oct 14, 2003 12:50am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Recording gear

Wow! Thanks for all the info...this is great.

So, Lets assume that if I am going to do this, I would do it right - I would go the DAT route...what specifically should I need to get rolling - clearly the DAT unit (models, please? Sony?) and the Mic (again, models?). What then is the mechanism for going from what actually sits on the DAT tape to the computer - I would assume that's probably a USB connection? Then do I have to do anything to get it to SHN format - or is that native within DAT? I think I can get it onto the archive after that...

Again, thanks a lot!

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffbleblanc Date: Oct 14, 2003 2:25am
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Recording gear

clearly the DAT unit (models, please? Sony?)

Sinjin, most of this info is well documented in the info files of the recordings hosted on this website. Most of them have full source info (what mics, a/d converters, and recording deck was used) and full transfer info (what playback, interface, and recording software was used).

Your best bet is to read through some of the info files, and then read up on the manufacturer websites regarding the features to figure out which one is best for you.

Here, this link might be another good source of info: http://www.moelinks.com/random/source/

I'm not trying to shrug off your question, it's just that it would take a book to explain most the intricacies of why you want a specific model over another...

Just one last piece of advice. Unless you're ready to drop a lot of money, don't go with a DAT recorder. Between blank media, batteries, performance enhancements, cables etc... they will suck a ton of money out of you. Plus, if you ask me, the hard disk recorders (laptops and JB3 type appliances) will be replacing DAT in the years to come. --- Don't get me wrong, DAT really performs well as a field recorder, but you really end up paying well for it.

-Brad

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffchops11 Date: Oct 13, 2003 12:36pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Recording gear

in all fairness.. i am not one of them, however, i've come across many people that aren't satisfied with MiniDisc recodrings. so if you have the money to spend on a DAT, might want to go for it. (if you're in it to please the masses)

cheers
ed

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Poster: kwaved Date: Oct 13, 2003 12:51pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Recording gear

Blow off the DAT solution and go straight to the laptop. A good soundcard can be had at a reasonable price (certainly cheaper than a good A/D, pre-amp, and microphone rig !) and with the show recorded straight to the harddrive you eliminate transfer issues.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffTyler Date: Oct 13, 2003 12:54pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Recording gear

I agree, laptop makes transfers a snap, but what if you want to tape a 'taper-unfriendly' band? it is kinda hard to smuggle a laptop in your pocket. :) but if you just see taper friendly bands (DMB, Phish, etc.) go for it! Laptops are kick-ass!

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Poster: kwaved Date: Oct 13, 2003 12:57pm
Forum: etree Subject: Re: Recording gear

Shoot Tyler, I would never record a band that didn't approve of it in advance Besides all the bands on LMA obviously allow taping, why skimp with a MD and lousy mics? Though obviously even a sub-par, or shall I say lo-fidelity, recording is better than none at all, right?

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffTyler Date: Oct 13, 2003 12:41pm
Forum: etree Subject: My Opinion.

This is true. Some people thumb their noses at a recording as soon as they hear "Mini-Disk", not even giving it a listen. It is unfortunate that this notion that only those recordings made on more expensive decks are 'quality' or 'sound good'. I personally find that attitude snobbish.

DAT does have some very good aspects that Mini-Disks do not:

DAT decks use tapes with zero compression. What you get on playback has no compression, versus the small compression with a MD (ATRAC).

DAT decks use tapes that will record for several hours, so no 'tape-flip' is needed. MD's only record either 74 or 80 minutes per-disk, so you will have to watch the clock and switch in a new disk when the old one is up, and try and do it as soon as one song ends, and try and get it going again before the next song starts. I admit this is hard and nerve racking. A simple solution is to buy 2 MD decks, and when you are nearing the end on one disk, start recording on your second deck (with a fresh blank in it) so all you have to do is move the plug from the batt box from one deck to the other. This takes 1-2 seconds instead of the 20-30 seconds of a MD flip.

But those better aspects of a DAT deck do come at a price. I was not exagerating: It is very much more expensive then a MD deck. BUT if you have the cash, go for it! I wish I had the money for a DAT deck, but I do not. Also, be very weary of buying used DAT decks off eBay. DAT decks require their heads to be cleaned and taken care of, lots of maintance. Often the 'cheap' or 'what a deal!' DAT decks of eBay are decks with many, many hours of recording on those heads, and you as the buyer will have to invest in another $100 or so to fix it back up. DAT decks I have heard to be finiky machines. MD decks, however, when they are done, they are done. Refurbished decks work just as good as new ones, and the two that i have (both $50 off ebay) work like a dream.

Just one more word then i'll quit yapping: If you do go MD, get a Sharp. They support 'on-the-fly' level changes, where you can adjust the levels (how much of the signal is being let in) while you are recording. Sony MD recorders require you to pause recording, then change levels, then start again. This is bad times.

Overall, whatever you record with, at least you are doing it! That is the main part. Remember what Tenacious D said in those early HBO sketches? "Always record! Always record!" If i had only $30 to spare, i would go to Radioshack and get one of those rectangular audio cassett recorder / playback decks. You just put a regular large cassett in there, and hit 'record'. The sound may not be perfect, but it is cheap and easy.

In my opinion, the cheapest way to go to get quality recordings is the above mic and batt box and a sharp md deck.

Welcome to the world of taping! Beware, it is addictive.

Tyler